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William B. Ay cock. 
Our Champion 




by 

Judith Welch Wegner 

Together with William Brantley Aycock's Acceptance of a Special 
North Caroliniana Society Award, 22 March 2007 



NORTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY IMPRINTS 

Number 43 
H. G.Jones, General Editor, Nos. 1-43 



This edition is limited to 
three hundred fifty copies 
of which this is number 



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PHOTO CREDITS: Jan G. Hens ley: page 24 top, 25 bottom, 26 top, 27 top 
and bottom, 28, top and bottom, jerry C. Cotten: front cover, page 24 bottom, 
25 top, 26 bottom. 



Copyright © 2007 by 

North Caroliniana Society 

UNC Campus Box 3930, Wilson Eibrary 

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William B. Aycock, 
Our Champion 



by 



Judith Welch Wegner 



Together with William Brantley Ay cock 's Acceptance of a Special 
North Caroliniana Society Award, 22 March 2007 



Chape/Hill 27514-8890 

North Caroliniana Society 

2007 



EDITOR'S NOTE 

In the presence of family, friends, and former colleagues, Dr. 
William Brantley Aycock, Chancellor Emeritus of The University of 
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was presented a Special North 
Caroliniana Society Award at a ceremony held in the George Watts 
Hill Alumni Center on 22 March 2007. 

The featured speaker, Dr. Judith W. Wegner, former Dean 
of the UNC School of Law, described the remarkable career of the 
Wilson County native who grew up in Selma. Her address traced Dr. 
Aycock's illustrious career as a high school teacher, decorated World 
War II officer, and university professor and chancellor. She especially 
emphasized Dr. Aycock's role as a defender of free speech during his 
chancellorship from 1957 to 1964. 

The ceremony was special for all in attendance, but it was 
exceptionally meaningful to William C. Friday, John R. Jordan, Jr., 
and J. Dickson Phillips, Jr., who, with Aycock and the late William A. 
Dees, Jr., constituted a close-knit study quintet during their student 
days in the UNC School of Law. Dees, the first chairman of the 
UNC Board of Governors, died last year. The surviving four were 
present, and their outstanding services to the university and the state 
are described in Dr. Aycock's acceptance speech. 

The North Caroliniana Society is happy to preserve the 
record of the occasion in the forty-third number of our limited 
edition North Caroliniana Society Imprints. H. G. JONES. 



cqok 



William B. Ay cock, Our Champion 

Judith Welch Wegner 



It is indeed an honor and a privilege to be with you today as the 
North Caroliniana Society honors William Brantley Aycock. The North 
Caroliniana Society is itself worth honoring for its efforts to promote 
increased knowledge and appreciation of North Carolina's heritage through 
its encouragement of scholarly research, writing, and teaching related to the 
State's history and literature. 

Bill Aycock is among many other things a scholar of history. Bill's 
own devotion to understanding history, while also making history, makes 
today's tribute a particularly meaningful one for all concerned. I'm sure that 
Bill would say, with John W. Gardner, that "history never looks like history 
when you are living through it." I'm glad, however, that today we can look at 
the big picture and appreciate how this extraordinary man made history that 
is cherished by us all. 

As I look out at this audience, I fear that I am but an amateur 
historian charged with speaking on our collective behalf about the many 
contributions Bill Aycock has made in his 90-something years as a Tar Heel 
born and a Tar Heel bred. The task is an even taller one because Bill's life is 
so intertwined with the life of our beloved University and alma mater over 
nearly a century's span. 

Willa Cather — Virginia born and Nebraska bred — wrote that "The 
history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman." I will try 
in the next few minutes to reach to the heart of the matter, tracing Bill's 
heartfelt devotion to learning and to truth and his role as a champion of those 
values over the years. 

Commitment to Learning 

Bill is learned. He's also an exceptional teacher whose skills have 
endowed generations of law students with insights about the Rule in Shelley's 
Case, the complexity of federal courts, and the perils of unfair trade practices. 
What sets Bill apart from many other esteemed faculty are his deeper insights 
about learning and the ways he has embodied a commitment to learning 
throughout his life. 

Bill understands that learning, and the learner, are the point, rather 
than the ego of the teacher or the words coming forth from her mouth. He 
also understands that the nature and significance of learning is not easily 
quantified. As William Butler Yeats so wisely stated, "Education is not the 






2 JUDITH WELCH WEGNER 

filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." 

Bill appreciates the high expectations set by the citizens of our State 
from the University's inception, and calls all of us (students, faculty, staff, 
alumni, admirers and even opponents) to rise above our own expectations for 
ourselves. He has taken to heart the challenge set by William R. Davie in the 
University's charter: "Whereas in all well regulated Governments, it is the 
indispensable duty of every Legislature to consult the Happiness of a rising 
generation and endeavour to fit them for an honourable discharge of the social 
duties of life, by paying the strictest attention to their education." Bill's 
commitment to and deep understanding of learning has been reinforced by 
many forces throughout his long life. 

Family History. It's clear that Bill's family valued learning. In his oral 
history, Bill recounted how deeply his father longed to return to school. 
Working as a farmer and running a small store for many years, he returned to 
law school at age 40 and took pride in whetting his son Bill's desire to follow 
in his footsteps. Bill's mother was likewise devoted to books and the 
intellectual life. She formed a book club with friends in 1923. Each member 
chose and purchased a book a year, then exchanged the books round-robin so 
all had the opportunity to read them. The club incorporated new members 
over the years and was reportedly thriving nearly 70 years later. 

Unconventional Study. One story that I've loved concerns Bill's 
devotion to milking cows in his youth, a job he began in about fifth grade. I'm 
tempted to think that perhaps he foresaw his future role as Chancellor, even 
then. James Dean may have had it right: "Studying cows, pigs and chickens 
can help an actor [or most anyone] develop his character. There are a lot of 
things I learned from animals. One was that they couldn't hiss or boo me." 
Looking back, Bill concluded that the opportunity to milk cows morning and 
night for years, along with his lawyer- father, was about something more than 
earning some spare change. In retrospect, he said that he believed his father 
wanted to find a way for the two of them to spend time together. Bill credits 
his early development of good judgment to these daily exchanges with his 
father about topics of moment. I'm sure that he also learned patience and a 
willingness to engage carefully, courteously, knowingly, and calmly with 
nervous students in later years. 

Schooling. Bill loved school and had wide-ranging interests. In high 
school, he reputedly took a course in domestic economy, something 
unconventional for young men at the time. When it came time for college he 
knew he wanted to attend "State College" in Raleigh, located relatively near his 
home town in a setting where Bill hoped to be able to find part-time work. 
He had no desire to study engineering, but enrolled in the School of 
Education where he could major in history and be forgiven the high cost of 
tuition ($80 per year!) so long as he pursued a teacher certificate. Bill's 
leadership talents were recognized, as he rose to become student body 
president at NCSU and a top leader of the National Student Federation. He 
was chosen to be part of a group invited to Washington, D.C. to meet with 
President Roosevelt, at Mrs. Roosevelt's request. She understood how 
important it was for the President to engage with young people and learn their 



WILLIAM B. AYCOCK, OUR CHAMPION 3 

ideas. This commitment to hearing out student views was one that Bill 
himself embraced during his later years as Chancellor. 

Devotion to History. Bill subsequendy followed history professor, Hugh 
Lefler, to Chapel Hill, where he dove into work on a masters' in history. By 
Bill's accounting, he wanted to supplement his undergraduate experience at 
NCSU with a period of deep and intensive intellectual study in the area he 
loved. He was intrigued that the Agricultural Adjustment Act had been passed 
as part of the New Deal legislation, something the press treated as the first 
occasion on which agriculture had been regulated. Bill wondered about the 
truth of that assertion, and wrote a thesis documenting a forgotten truth: the 
British authorities and colonial legislature in Virginia had regulated tobacco 
production before the American Revolution. He finished his work in record 
time, graduating in 1937, after just a year. Bill then returned to Greensboro 
to teach history and to help pay his sisters' way through school. 

Unconventional Education. Before long, however, Bill was asked to take 
a better-paying job in Raleigh with the National Youth Administration. He 
served as an administrator for programs that brought together local 
communities, private parties, young people needing work, and government 
funds. He was involved with residential training programs and projects such 
as building meeting places for the American Legion. It was during this time 
that he met his beloved Grace Mewborn who was then working for the state 
Commissioner of Agriculture. They married in October 1941. Grace became 
his beloved and life-long help mate, and mother to his wonderful children, 
Nancy and young Bill. 

Military Service, ivith an Educational Theme. Bill enlisted immediately after 
Pearl Harbor. He'd gained military experience through ROTC during his time 
at NCSU, and by a strange set of circumstances became a Company 
Commander right at the start. He was assigned at several points to provide 
training to others. His most memorable assignment was to help train a new 
combat team of approximately 650 Japanese-American troops who were kept 
segregated because of supposed security concerns. Bill's troops were needed 
to serve as replacements for the 442 nd Combat Team who served so valiantly 
in Europe. In his 1990 oral history, Bill spoke with deep pride about the 
courage and talent of his troops, who had established many records for 
excellence while at Fort McLellan. Bill went overseas in December 1944, 
where he commanded the Third Battalion of the 446 th Infantry, under General 
Patton, following the Battle of the Bulge. He was highly decorated, receiving 
a Silver Star, a Bron2e Star, and the Legion of Merit. 

Law Study. As World War II came to a close, Bill at last had the 
chance to study the law, a goal he had longed for with all his heart. He stood 
at the top of his enormously talented and legendary class, the UNC Law 
School class of 1948, filled with returning veterans who have shaped our 
nation and state. You'll hear more about that in a bit. I can't resist telling a 
story shared by Judge J. Dickson Phillips, a member of Bill's law school class, 
in order to show the depth of Bill's thirst for knowledge and his influence on 
those around him. According to Phillips: 



4 JUDITH WELCH WEGNER 

One winter day we woke to find that we'd had one of our 
rare hip-deep snowfalls overnight. I looked out the window of my 
house on the Pittsboro Road on the south edge of town and went 
back to bed. In a little my wife looked out and came back to tell me 
that she'd just seen Aycock walking up the middle of the road from 
his house three miles out, up to his hips in snow, headed for school. 

Here was a man who the winter before, under the 
compulsion of war's circumstances, had been trying to stay alive and 
avoid frozen feet in the Ardennes, and who now under no 
compulsion but that of felt duty, was plowing through Ardennes- 
depth snow to go up and talk about "last clear chance," or the Rule 
in Wild's Case or something equally inconsequential over the long 
haul. 

As usual, his influence was felt. Under the compulsion of 
shame, I struggled out and up the hill, following the path he'd 
plowed. I'd like to report that on that fateful day some great 
revelation of the very essence of the law was given us as a reward for 
our devotion to her calling. Alas, as I recall it, nothing happened out 
of the ordinary. Only a handful of students and a mere remnant of 
the faculty showed up. ["Bill Aycock in Law School," NCLR 64 (1985- 
1986): 210.] 

Law Teaching. Before long, the law faculty sought and gained a new 
faculty position, one that was then immediately offered to Bill some months 
before he graduated. He accepted immediately, and turned his love of learning 
into a legendary commitment to helping his students learn. He dove into 
preparation, and emerged as a beloved teacher and noted scholar, who wrote 
on issues of property, unfair trade practices, and military law. Once the 
school's McCall teaching award was established, he won it five times, and 
legend has it a new rule was imposed that required the award (selected by 
graduating seniors) to be rotated at least once in a while. Bill's love affair with 
the law, law students, and law teaching began before he became Chancellor 
and continued after his return to the law school in 1964. His law school 
classmate, law faculty colleague, and dean, J. Dickson Phillips, described 
Aycock's impact in the following terms: 

The law professors of course were . . . impressed by and 
appreciative of Aycock's dedication and learning, as well as of his 
consummate good manners in the classroom. In class, Aycock, true 
to his nature, was not one to show off. Neither was he one to show 
up anyone — including the professors — though we all knew that 
frequently he could have if he'd wanted to. Not only was he not in 
the showing-off or showing-up business, he quickly became a sort of 
de facto adjunct professor. For a while I thought that when any of 
our professors turned with an expectant look to let Mr. Aycock 
supply the answer, they were simply pursuing some variation of the 
Socratic method — asking a question to which they of course already 



WILLIAM B. AYCOCK, OUR CHAMPION 5 

knew the answer in order to help the unlearned at least learn to think. 
Alas, one day the scales were caused to fall from my eyes, 
courtesy of Aycock's unannounced, unsought role as back-up man for 
beleaguered professors. One of our great professors, an absolute 
master of his subject, was nevertheless likely to become a litde 
flustered in class if pushed too hard and from too many quarters at 
once. On this occasion, some earnest students had pushed him into 
a pretty hard corner. But there, blessedly, sat Mr. Aycock, as ever 
minding his own business. As the professor turned in obvious relief 
to get Mr. Aycock to set things straight, it all suddenly came clear to 
me: Aycock wasn't being enlisted to impart knowledge that he shared 
with the professor; he was the only person in the room who had it 
figured out. ["Bill Aycock in Law School," NCLR 64 (1985-1986): 209.] 

I hope that I've illustrated the sources, depth, and strength of Bill's 
devotion to learning. In 1957 he brought that love of learning to a larger 
multitude, upon his appointment as Chancellor. He served with distinction 
for seven years, concluding his service in 1964. During this period, he 
continued to keep his eye on the ball — the University's educational 
mission — as he endeavored to expand learning opportunities for students and 
others across the state. While much could be said about all he did, let me 
focus my remaining comments on another powerful theme that runs through 
Bill's life, one that was especially visible during this important interval: Bill's 
abiding devotion to truth. 

Devotion to Truth 

Truth is a much praised value. Cicero said: "Nothing is more noble, 
nothing more venerable than fidelity. Faithfulness and truth are the most 
sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind." Others have linked 
truth-telling to safety. Charles Dickens said "There is nothing so strong or 
safe in an emergency of life as the simple truth," while Mark Twain noted: "If 
you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." Albert Schweitzer 
recognized the centering power of truth, saying: "Truth has no special time 
of its own. Its hour is now — always." 

Bill's commitment to truth is perhaps the foremost theme that links 
the many speeches he gave while Chancellor. Bill understood truth as central 
to learning and teaching, as the goal realized when statements and 
propositions mirror reality and legitimate facts. For those coming of age in 
the current era, he was no champion of "truthiness," a term coined by Stephen 
Colbert and defined by the American Dialect Society in January 2006 as "the 
quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than 
concepts or facts known to be true." 

Bill's concept of "truth" transcends mere technical reality, however. 
He has lived a life devoted to truth, in the sense of "sincerity in action, 
character and utterance." He thus adhered to a leadership philosophy akin to 
that of Thomas Jefferson, who said: "I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, 



6 JUDITH WELCH WEGNEK 

never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and 
bearding every authority which stood in their way." 

Early Evidence. Even before taking on the Chancellor's mantle, Bill 
had become involved with challenging situations that called for judgment and 
candor. He was tapped by Frank Porter Graham to go along on a United 
Nations-sponsored peace-keeping mission to Kashmir, which was 
experiencing significant clashes involving India, Pakistan, and the local 
population. He also worked closely with the senior American military officer 
on the mission— General Jacob L. Devers, who had commanded an Army in 
Europe during the final months of World War II. Bill was charged to read 
and summarize key documents and to serve in other ways as Dr. Frank's 
personal aide. While much of that work has never been made public, in light 
of the United Nations' decision not to invite a public report by Dr. Frank, 
some evidence of Bill's role can be seen from a reference letter from General 
Devers, quoted in a tribute to Bill penned by Dean Henry Brandis: 

Aycock is a young lawyer whose good judgment and common sense 
have already established his reputation in his specialty. ... I was 
impressed with his ability to go right to the core of any problem we 
were tackling out there, and come up with the right recommendation. 
. . . His capacity for working eighteen hours a day, if pressed, with 
the heat well over 100 degrees and the humidity in the 80's, was an 
inspiration to all of us. . . . Better than anything else, I liked Aycock's 
great personal integrity. At times he disagreed completely with 
Doctor Graham's or my views, and he always had the honesty to say 
so. An officer with less principle would not have had his courage. 
["William Brantley Aycock: There Are So Many of Him," NCLR 64 (1985- 
1986): 213.] 

Bill's capacity to take the heat, as well as his commitment to truth, was evident 
throughout his Chancellorship. 

Aspirations and Goals: Hill Aycock's Installation. Bill was installed on 
October 12, 1957, in Kenan Stadium. He spoke of the University's history 
and accomplishments, and noted "how the institution reflects the never 
ending struggle to fulfill the highest hopes and grandest dreams of its 
founders." He then went on to cite key challenges, ones he had clearly studied 
and considered in depth. He noted that the universities in the south were 
expected to see enrollment increases of 85% by 1970, as the baby boom came 
into full flower. He went on: 

In the light of these facts, one proposal has been to institute rigid 
birth control retroactive to 1945. Some propose freezing enrollment 
at or near the present level. Those who do not do so forget that our 
leaders, over the years have taken our people — rich and poor 
alike — to the top of the mountain and promised that every child shall 
have an equal opportunity through education to develop his 
leadership qualities. This promise is in keeping with the historic 



WILLIAM B. AYCOCK, OUR CHAMPION 7 

mission of America. We must provide a favorable environment and 
an opportunity for each person to develop his personality and to 
realize his just aspirations. At the same time we must remember that 
as numbers increase there must be increasing emphasis upon self- 
discipline, self-restraint and a high sense of obligation to one's fellow 
man. Although the goal may be distant, it is grand enough to be seen 
by lifted and farsighted eyes; and it marks the direction in which we 
must travel. 

Fathered by rebellion against oppression, mothered by vision 
of freedom, this University, an instrument of democracy, the capstone 
of public education in this State, a cultural center for all of our 
people, and a place in which leaders develop, must continue, in the 
faith of our fathers, to keep the faith with our youth. The people of 
this State must decide if we are to increase our enrollment or turn 
away our high school graduates who give promise of capacity for 
intellectual growth and achievement — those boys and girls who have 
every right to expect the privilege of continuing their educations in 
their own State University. Those of us in the University, entrusted 
with the responsibility to maintain and improve the quality of 
educational opportunity, stand ready to grow. We insist, however, 
that to grow in size and deteriorate in quality is the worst possible 
course. We are eager to admit each qualified student who applies 
provided we are given the resources to grow greater as we grow 
larger. ["Address of William Brandey Aycock on University Day, October 
12, 1957 — on the occasion of his formal installation as Chancellor," 
unpublished pamphlet in North Carolina Collection, p. 3.] 

Academic Freedom. Bill also addressed academic freedom in candid yet 
ringing terms, foreshadowing his stands in later days: 

Academic freedom is not a subsidy granted by a higher 
authority to provide intangible compensation to teachers. Moreover, 
it is not a fringe benefit created to soothe the alleged sensitive nature 
of those who teach, work, and live in the University. . . . 

These freedoms are not absolute. There are limitations, such 
as the laws of libel and slander which apply to all. In addition to legal 
limitations there are pressures of various types — economic, social and 
political — both direct and indirect— which are imposed on many 
people engaged in seeking and stating the truth. 

Academic freedom is freedom of speech, freedom of the 
press and freedom of religion on the campus. We recognize and 
accept the legal limitations such as the laws of libel and slander, but 
we reject the economic, social and political pressures which fetter 
research, publication and teaching. Because we are so vigorous in 
rejecting these latter limitations we are correctly accused of being 
sensitive about academic freedom. Further we insist that alleged 
abuses be investigated fully; that due process be afforded, and that the 



8 JUDITH WELCH WEGNER 

freedom of all of us shall not be curtailed because of an alleged or 
actual abuse by one of us. 

In these areas we are sensitive because we know it is 
impossible to have a true university without academic freedom. This 
can be understood only if academic freedom is considered in the 
context of the mission of a university. A true university must seek 
out, examine, assemble and interpret facts. It must seek new ideas, 
new forms of knowledge, new values and new artistic standards in 
order that mankind may continue to grow in understanding and 
wisdom. Implicit in the creative mission is the duty to examine the 
bases, the foundations, and the assumptions on which present 
knowledge rests. This duty is not limited to certain categories of 
knowledge but extends to all. 

An institution of learning cannot be a university if it 
undertakes to fix or freeze knowledge or doctrine merely because it 
is suitable to some individual or group, however highly placed. Long 
ago Voltaire said: "By what right could a being created free force 
another to think like himself?" May I add: and by what authority 
does one say that he has found the final truth for the youth of our 
land? History does not record a single successful effort to fix or 
freeze knowledge. The discovery of truth is yet so far from high 
noon of achievement that it must still have upon it the dew of the 
morning. It is not our function to implant in students a standard 
pattern of beliefs and attitudes — even our own. Each person's soul 
is unique and his own mental processes are a reflection of that 
uniqueness of soul. [Ibid, pages 5-6.] 

Research. Bill foresaw the important challenges facing the nation as it 
witnessed the launch of the Russian Sputnik satellite. He stressed the need for 
UNC to develop as a research university at a time when American universities 
had relied heavily on received wisdom from Europe. 

A university, like most other institutions of learning, is 
engaged in the transmission of knowledge. A university, unlike many 
other institutions of learning, emphasizes the discovery of knowledge. 
Thus a university is a center for both teaching and research. This 
combination provides an artistic and creative atmosphere in which 
scholars can develop and to which they are attracted because scholars 
are motivated by an insatiable desire to discover the truth as well as 
to unfold its beauty to others. Some scholars, primarily teachers, 
select a university because the research facilities will enable them to 
improve the quality of their teaching. Other scholars, primarily 
researchers, come to a university because the research facilities enable 
them to study in the library and the laboratories and to contribute 
something which may become a significant part of the world's 
knowledge. Only those universities which have adequate research 
facilities are in a favorable position to become a community of 



WILLIAM B. AYCOCK, OUR CHAMPION 9 

scholars. 

The importance of well organized research programs in our 
universities is not widely understood. Our country relied heavily on 
European scholars to provide us with discoveries in basic science 
until the two world wars reduced the flow of knowledge across the 
Adantic to a trickle. Fortunately our leaders in government, in 
industry and in education realized that without basic research we were 
doomed to intellectual and technological stagnation. The universities, 
including our own, in cooperation with government and industry, 
expanded research programs, and basic knowledge began to flow at 
an accelerated rate from the well springs on the campuses. The 
development in research in recent years at Duke University, at our 
brother institution in Raleigh and on this great campus stimulated 
Governor Luther Hodges to visualize a great Research Triangle in 
which there could take place a surge in the advancement of 
knowledge. In the geographical center of this triangle a home is being 
prepared for industrial research. This triangle may serve to splice 
together the individual strands of excellence and to create a mighty 
force in the future development of this State. [Ibid, pages 7-8.] 

Bill concluded with a prayer that highlighted his core belief in the 
significance of truth: 

Give us the desire to search for the truth, 

Reverence to know the truth, 

Courage to protect the truth, 

And wisdom to practice the truth 

So that we may, together, advance on this earth 

Nearer to the goals of mercy, 

Love and understanding of all mankind. 

Amen. 

Desegregation. Bill's term as Chancellor spanned the period 1957-1964. 
This was an era in which desegregation proved a central force in shaping the 
University and the larger society. The University's ability to navigate what 
might have been troubled waters owed much to Bill's commitment to justice 
and his awareness of the power of simple truths. 

At times, Bill found it appropriate to speak out and confront political 
forces that might have intruded on the University's own efforts to move into 
a new era of racial justice. One such moment came during the 1960 
gubernatorial election. At that time I. Beverly Lake and Terry Sanford 
competed for this position during a hotly contested Democratic primary. 
Lake's campaign manager criticized Governor Luther Hodges, asserting that 
WUNC-TV had been used to transmit a network program which instructed 
Negroes on ways to conduct successful sit-down strikes at lunch counters. 
The campaign further criticized the University for allowing Langston Hughes, 
the brilliant black poet, to speak there. All these charges appeared on May 1 5, 



10 JUDITH WELCH WEGNER 

1960, as reported in the News and Observer. Bill knew his alumni and he 
knew the times. He framed his response to such race baiting in terms that 
called forth unifying obligations to protect alma mater, whatever the views 
graduates might have on the merits of desegregation. He also knew his 
moment. Speaking at the annual Alumni Luncheon on June 6 he said: 

Those of us entrusted, for the time being, with the leadership 
of the University of the people have a duty to express forthright 
concern when the freedom of the University is threatened. The 
context and the manner in which such threats appear are immaterial. 
No time and circumstance can dictate apparent indifference or 
command silence on so vital an issue as the freedom of the 
University 7 . 

A governor of this State possesses tremendous potential 
power to bring to bear on all state-supported institutions many kinds 
of economic and political pressures to induce conformity to his 
personal notions of freedom. Moreover, the governor is Chairman 
of the Board of Trustees of the University 7 . Thus the attitude of a 
governor concerning freedom in the University is a matter of great 
importance to the people of North Carolina. If a governor should 
attempt to dilute freedom in the University, it would be tantamount to 
an attempt to destroy it. 

This institution was fathered by rebellion against oppression 
and mothered by a vision of freedom. It has become an instrument 
of democracy and a place in which the weak can grow strong and the 
strong can grow great. The process of youth maturing in an 
environment of freedom is always an erratic one, a sometimes 
turbulent one, and frequendy a disturbing one to those whose 
memories of their own youth have faded. Yet, generation after 
generation of young men and women have gone forth from this 
campus to provide sound leadership throughout the length and 
breadth of this land. 

We must not — we cannot — allow our precious heritage — a 
free university — to be infringed upon by an individual or group from 
whatever position or by whatever disposition. We shall not sit idly by 
and permit this to occur. My plea to you is that in the spirit of our 
fathers, all of us in the University family join hands with each other 
and with all those who hold freedom dear to guarantee that this great 
instrument of democracy — the oldest of our state universities — shall 
not be molded to suit the notions of any single person or social 
group. This, my fellow Tar Heels, is the most important issue facing 
the University. ["Freedom of the University, Chancellor W. B. Aycock, 
Alumni Luncheon, June 6, 1960," unpublished typescript in North Carolina 
Collection, page 3-4.] 

In other respects, Bill was matter of fact in describing a period in 
which his shrewdness, common sense, and good judgment led him to find 



WllllAM B. AYCOCK, OUR CHAMPION 1 1 

pragmatic solutions when others might have foundered in the face of daunting 
events. He recounted several anecdotes to Frances Weaver, who interviewed 
him for his oral history. 

[On one occasion, a] safety officer came to my office in South 
Building and said that a group of people, mosdy blacks, including a 
few children, were marching on the campus. And that he had told 
them that they couldn't do it. And he asked me what to do about it. 
I said, "Well, you'll have to go back and tell them that they can. And 
make a request to them that, because young children were involved, 
that if they would march on the sidewalk, rather than on busy 
Cameron Avenue, it would be better from a safety standpoint. And 
secondly, that we hoped they wouldn't disturb the classes that were 
going on, but they were certainly welcome to come to South Building 
and march around South Building, or otherwise make their protest 
known. And that was done, and they made their march. It was not 
a large group of people, but they were certainly welcome to appear on 
the campus. It's a long time ago, but that's the only incident that 
comes to my mind." 

Bill also recalled dealing with some very 7 pragmatic issues of assuring 
equal opportunities to University students. 

We had a contract with a bowling alley for our students in physical 
education to have classes in physical education and bowling. The 
University did not have any bowling alleys at that time. And we made 
it very clear to the proprietor of the bowling alley that he would have 
to take all students, black or white, because that was the contract with 
the University. 

Another example concerned his efforts to work with the faculty in 
making integration proceed smoothly in the educational enterprise. 

I don't recall any problems. North Carolina Memorial Hospital had 
been open to all races from the very beginning and that included all 
the facilities in the hospital. The only question that came to my 
attention about the hospital had to do with a black medical student, 
and this was the situation. In the third year, at that time, medical 
students started going on the wards as a part of their education. 
Medical students would go in groups with the interns, residents, and 
faculty members. And the question arose of what to do about a black 
medical student treating a white woman. This matter was 
resolved — at that time it was a very sensitive question — by the doctor 
asking the white woman, in private, if she would object to the black 
student being in on her treatment. In that way we knew that some 
would say that it would be all right and some would object. But the 
point is if enough of them said it would be all right, then the medical 



12 JUDITH WELCH WEGNER 

student would get the well rounded education to which he was 
entitled. Once that procedure was followed, nothing ever came of it 
in the sense that there was never any objection from the black 
medical students to my knowledge or objections from any of the 
white women. That was a long time ago, but it was a very sensitive 
question at that particular time. 

At the end of Bill's term, there had been important progress in racial 
integration. As he and Frances Weaver discussed in his oral history, the 
University kept no formal record of students' race during his tenure as 
Chancellor. Someone did keep a personal tally. Bill reported that when he 
began as Chancellor in 1957 the University had 15 black students (including 
six undergraduates, one law student, two social work students, and a medical 
student). By 1964, when he left office, there were 82. 

Athletics: Maintaining Perspective. Bill's term as Chancellor was marked 
by turmoil in another arena. Intercollegiate athletics had risen in prominence 
and become a major challenge that Bill Aycock and his law school classmate, 
President William Friday, took by the horns. Bill Aycock's commitment to 
truth was evident in how he dealt with athletic oversight, enforcement actions 
involving the NCAA, his approach to basketball coaches, and his response to 
problematic conduct by student athletes. 

Athletic Oversight. Bill's view of college athletics was clearly grounded 
in his beliefs about the primacy of academic values and the academic mission 
of the university. While a student at NC State, Bill had observed the tendency 
for coaches to push the edge in order to gain an advantage that would 
contribute to competitive success. He understood that athletic boosters 
among the alumni could also push the line so much that the University's 
integrity could be put at risk. Early in his tenure as Chancellor he took pains 
to clarify the role of an athletic committee (composed of alumni, student, and 
faculty representatives) that advised the athletic director on issues of 
implementation or administration, and a faculty committee that played a 
critical role in advising him on institutional policy. He also did not hesitate to 
speak truth to those who tested his mettle early in his chancellorship. In his 
oral history, Bill told the following story, concerning his encounter with an 
alumnus who had views on who was boss. Bill set him straight. Bill was 
introduced to a booster he had not met. When the alumnus was told that Bill 
was the new Chancellor, the following colloquy ensued: 

[The alumnus said] "Well, Chancellor, I'm down here for a meeting 
of the Educational Foundation, and it may interest you to know that 
we have come to fire the Athletic Director." 

[Bill] said, "Yes, that's a matter of great interest to me because I have 
just been informed three months ago that I would be responsible for 
the Athletic Director. So as you go to your meeting, you announce 
that you've got one little hurdle to cross and that is you're going to 
have to get rid of the Chancellor first. That will not be much of a 



WILLIAM B. AYCOCK, OUR CHAMPION 13 

problem because I just got here, and I'm not looking to make a 
lifetime career of it." 

The NCAA. Bill became Chancellor just after UNC won the NCAA 
basketball tournament in 1957. At that time the campus and the basketball 
coach, Frank McGuire, were riding the wave of a perfect season (32 wins and 
no losses) and widespread national acclaim. By 1960, however, some storm 
clouds were on the horizon. The NCAA preliminarily informed Bill that the 
school was under investigation for illegal recruiting and illegal support of 
athletes in the basketball program. Bill understood that the school's integrity 
was at stake. He insisted on digging deeply to investigate the facts underlying 
the charges and personally represented the campus in related hearings, with 
the help of a young assistant basketball coach named Dean Smith. After 
careful review of all relevant evidence, Bill and Smith were able to clear up 
most of the issues that had been raised about vouchers submitted by McGuire 
during an era in which recruitment and entertainment expenses were paid 
through the Student Audit Board. One voucher lacked adequate 
documentation and justification for what appeared to be excessive 
entertainment expenditures, however. By the third NCAA hearing, Bill 
concluded that the NCAA had fair grounds to conclude that violations had 
occurred with regard to that voucher, and determined that it was best not to 
appeal but rather to take the requisite medicine. With the advice of the faculty 
athletics committee, he determined that UNC should withdraw from the ACC 
tournament as well (since under the sanctions the team would not be allowed 
to play in the NCAA tournament). This initial experience working with Dean 
Smith led Bill to name him as head coach when Frank McGuire moved on 
within a year. 

Student Issues. Not long after the sanctions issues were resolved, some 
irregularities were discovered in relation to the "Dixie Classic," a basketball 
tournament sponsored each year by NCSU. The tradition was for four teams 
from North Carolina (UNC, NCSU, Duke and Wake Forest) to meet four 
nationally prominent teams from outside the state. A point shaving scandal 
emerged, linked to gambling activities in New York City. Allegations were 
made that a UNC player had met with a gambler and had encouraged another 
star player to meet with them to accept a bribe to change the outcome of a 
game. As the facts came to light the star player had accepted $75 during the 
meeting but had not taken a bribe. Bill had asked the star player in question 
whether he knew anything about the matter and the star player had three times 
denied it, very likely out of loyalty to his teammate who had made the 
approach on behalf of the gamblers. Finally, Bill learned for certain that the 
star player had accepted the $75 payment and called him in to the Chancellor's 
office once again, at which time he confronted the student star with clear 
proof of his misdeed and the student confessed. 

Bill believed that it was necessary to address the problem of the 
player's lies, and referred the matter to the dean of students and student 
government. The newly-elected student government proceeded to consider 
the issue without undertaking an investigation, and then found the star player 



14 JUDITH WELCH WEGNER 

not guilty (even though the player had admitted his guilt in the prior meeting 
with Bill). Bill was deeply concerned and perplexed, even though he knew that 
the challenge faced by the students was a big one. In his words: "I might say 
in all fairness to them, this was the first case, I believe, of a new student 
council, and to be confronted with a charge against an All-American basketball 
player was not exacdy the easiest way to get into the administration of student 
justice." He asked the president of the student council and the president of 
the student body to explain to him what had happened, and they said they felt 
they couldn't try the star player since the other student athlete (the friend who 
had led the star player into temptation) had unilaterally withdrawn from the 
University at that time. Untutored in the ways of the law, the students felt that 
under their rules a verdict of "not guilty" was the appropriate resolution. 

Bill knew that the students should simply have concluded that they 
lacked jurisdiction and left the matter in Bill's able hands. Because they had 
declared the star athlete "not guilty," however, issues of respect for student 
governance then compounded the mix. Nonetheless Bill called the star athlete 
to his office, told him that his repeated lies had put the integrity of the 
University at stake, and suspended him from school. (Bill recollected that he 
had been happy to recommend the star for eligibility to play with the NBA 
since "he was a well reared young man and had made a mistake"). 

Shortly afterward, Bill was roused from sleep by an assistant dean of 
students who said that a group of students had assembled and were about to 
march on Bill's house. As Bill recollected in his oral history: 

I said, "Well, just tell them to wait down there. I'll come down 
where they are." So I dressed and drove down, and there was a group 
present out in front of the dormitories. I said, "I understand you 
want to talk to me." [The student leader] said, "Yes, I do." I said, 
"Well, we ought to get alittle better situation than this." The safety 
officer, Mr. Beaumont, was there, and we arranged for him to open 
up Gerrard Hall. So that was announced to the group that we would 
all meet in Gerrard Hall. So by the time I got there the place was 
packed to the rafters. So I asked the president of the student body 
and the president of the honor council and the dean of student 
affairs, Charles Henderson, to come up on the stage. Then I 
proceeded to explain to the group exactly what had happened and as 
to why I had felt it necessary to do what looked like an overruling of 
the student council, but was not in fact. But, I went on to say in no 
uncertain terms, it was not a technical matter with me. That the 
integrity of the institution was involved, and it simply was not 
something that could be dealt with on the basis of any kind of a 
technicality. And that I had done it, and I would do it again under 
the same circumstances. And I was pleased that when I left a couple 
of hours later, I was given a standing ovation. 

In the wake of these events, Bill worked with Bill Friday and NCSU's 
Chancellor Caldwell to rein in what seemed to be ongoing problems in the 



WILLIAM B. AYCOCK, OUR CHAMPION 15 

athletics realm. They decided that student basketball players should be barred 
from participating in summer camps (where those with gambling ties had 
tended to make initial contacts), and recruitment should be limited for both 
basketball and football much more stringently to the ACC area. They also 
decided to curtail the number of basketball games, permitting only two games 
outside the conference apart from post-season playoffs. Although these steps 
might seem modest, they were important in setting a tone and reaffirming the 
balance of power between academics and athletics. As Bill recalled in his oral 
history: 

The last three years of my administration, everything went along quite 
well. . . . Overall, it was a good experience and working with a lot of 
wonderful people, and I have no regrets about the fact that I had to 
be a littie bit tough at times, much to the chagrin of some of our very 
strongest boosters. But there isn't any question that you can run a big 
time athletic program in accordance with the rules and regulations, 
provided that all the way you've got strong people. You've got to 
have coaches, an athletic director, a chancellor, and a board of 
trustees, with an assist when it's necessary from your student 
leadership, your student newspaper, and your student council. If 
you're strong in all those areas, then you can overcome the mischief 
of big time athletics. It's not easy. [It] [n] ever will be easy because 
different schools compete with each other. And competition, for 
example, for athletes simply invites trying to get some kind of edge. 
And there are so many rules that prevent you from getting the edge, 
that you've got to be willing to lose a player rather than to violate the 
law and the spirit of the rules for the NCAA. 

The Speaker Ban. No recounting of Bill's commitment to truth would 
be complete without some observations about the Speaker Ban and Bill's 
actions in its aftermath. 

As noted earlier, Bill had made academic freedom a center piece of his 
comments at the time of his installation address. While he undoubtedly 
sensed the risks to free inquiry that were in the wind during this period of anti- 
Communist fervor, he could hardly have known that his courage in 
championing the principles of academic freedom would mark the final chapter 
of his Chancellorship as well as its start. 

On June 25, 1963, the North Carolina General Assembly adopted 
legislation intended "to regulate visiting speakers at state supported colleges 
and universities." The act stated that "No college or university, which receives 
any State funds in support thereof, shall permit any person to use the facilities 
. . . for speaking purposes, who: (A) Is a known member of the Communist 
Party; (B) Is known to advocate the overthrow of the Constitution of the 
United States. . . .; (C) Has pleaded the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution 
of the United States in refusing to answer any question, with respect to 
Communist or subversive connections. . . ." The act further specified that 
"This Act shall be enforced by the Board of Trustees, or other governing 



/ 6 JUDITH WELCH WEGNER 

authority, of such college or university. . . ." The bill had come out of 
nowhere in the very last moments of the legislative session, catching both Bill 
Friday and Bill Aycock by surprise. 

Bill's response was careful, for he knew what he was up against. He 
took counsel not only with Bill Friday but also with Henry Brandis and John 
Sanders. They developed a lawyer's analysis of problems with the legislation. 
At the same time, Bill moved ahead to meet with the executive committee of 
the Board of Trustees, convincing them with his powerful advocacy to allow 
him to address the full Board. By the time he did so in late October, he had 
brought along a potent resolution adopted by the Faculty Council, decrying 
political tampering with the educational process and forecasting the woes that 
would afflict the campus as learned societies declined to hold meetings there, 
and faculty members departed, reducing the University's prestige. While 
continuing to hew to his long-asserted position that the University and he, as 
Chancellor, were committed to complying with the rule of law, he recited a 
lawyer's litany of the legislation's ambiguities. What was "the" Communist 
party? What did "known" entail? What did advocating the overthrow of the 
Constitution mean if violence or force were not involved? How might the law 
apply to a student from elsewhere who visited a friend in a dorm? 

Having mustered support from the Trustees, Bill hit the road. He 
gained support from the state's major newspaper editorial boards, with 
resulting editorials that echoed his clarion call. Within a month he gave a 
rousing speech to the Greensboro Bar Association. His topic was "law and 
the University." He pulled no punches, stating that although "it is inevitable 
that some laws have defects, rarely is it possible to get a law passed which 
ignores the generative principles of the law and at the same time contains so 
many ambiguities that its technical details are woefully lacking. . . . The 
manner in which 'the law' was conceived, drafted and passed is not in keeping 
with the traditions of a representative form of government." Sounding like Sir 
Thomas More (as depicted in "A Man for All Seasons"), Bill went on to say: 
"Nevertheless it is a law. We must not pick and choose the laws we shall 
obey. Whether wise or unwise we must abide by them to the best of our 
ability." He proceeded then to outline the numerous ambiguities in the act, 
making a lawyer's case to fellow lawyers about its many flaws. He elaborated 
on the difficulties that might be had in endeavoring to enforce it, before 
refuting, chapter and verse, assertions that Chapel Hill had become a hotbed 
of individuals intent upon overthrowing the government. His eloquence grew 
to a crescendo as he came to his closing: 

There is no member of this audience who, if informed that some 
foreign power was about to take over and strip us of our fundamental 
freedoms of speech, religion, and press, would not respond to the call 
to arms. What difference, may I ask, if we accomplish the same 
results by our own ignorance, misunderstanding and inaction? For 
me, I prefer to fight — win or lose, I would hope that the lawyers of 
North Carolina will be worthy of the words of Pericles to the widows 
of those brave Athenians who had fallen in battles: "Thus choosing 



WILLIAM B. AYCOCK, OUR CHAMPION 1 7 

to die resisting, rather than to live submitting, they fled only from 
dishonor, but met danger face to face, and after one brief moment, 
while at the summit of their fortune, escaped, not from their fear, but 
from their glory." Otherwise, the glory of North Carolina — its 
fervent passion for freedom and truth — will be exchanged for false 
security against our fears. 

The Legislature did not withdraw from the brink until some 
considerable time had passed. The work of Bill Aycock, Bill Friday, and 
others led by 1965 to the appointment of the Britt Commission to study the 
speaker ban law. Bill again spoke with fervor, noting at the outset that he 
appeared at the Commission's September 1965 hearing as a faculty member, 
but noting that he hoped to "remain accountable" for decisions he had made 
as Chancellor. Ever a lawyer's lawyer, he made his case against the Speaker 
ban in three parts, contending that there was no need for the legislation, that 
it was difficult to enforce, and that it diluted a fundamental principle of 
freedom. No longer constrained by the office as Chancellor, he repeatedly 
quoted noted WRAL commentator Jesse Helms on the perils of censorship 
and the importance of considering that "an element of control over one 
medium of communication today might well tomorrow lead to attempts to 
impose such controls on all media." Concluding, he quoted J. Edgar Hoover: 
"we must be absolutely certain that our tight is waged with full regard for the 
historic liberties of this great nation. This is the fundamental premise of any 
attack against communism." In Bill's view: 

We can fight subversion without sacrificing a fundamental principle 
of our freedom for what is, in reality, false security. North Carolina 
has come a long way short on cash but long on freedom. The 
Speaker Ban is a mistake. ... It was motivated by love in an endeavor 
to protect students in state institutions from communism. But this 
love is overly protective. It is a mighty blow against freedom. It will 
take much time and great effort to upgrade the economic status of 
our people, but little effort and no money will be required to restore 
to North Carolina its high place among those people in the world 
who believe in freedom. 

Bill's advocacy for repeal was potent, but he did not leave the matter 
to himself alone. In due course a challenge by university students, aided by 
faculty, and leaders of the Greensboro bar, gave the act its death knell. Bill's 
leadership, along with the leadership of Bill Friday, played a crucial part 
throughout this difficult chapter in the University's and the State's life. 
Throughout it all, he maintained his commitment to speaking truth to power, 
and preserving the welfare and integrity of the University he so loves. 



18 JUDITH WELCH WEGNER 

Conclusion: Bill Aycock, Our Champion and Citadel of Truth 

It's now time for me to bring these remarks to a close so that you can 
hear from the "real article," our beloved Bill Aycock. 

Bill has been, is, and will be someone who will forever be deemed a 
"champion." By "champion," I mean, not only someone who shows marked 
superiority and rises to the top, but also (as Sir Walter Scott said) "one who 
does batde for another's rights or honor." Bill has surely battled on behalf of 
all of us. He's pushed back ignorance, worked to assure educational access 
without regard to wealth, sought after fairness, campaigned for academic 
freedom, and held firm for the priorities of educational excellence when other 
interests held them at risk. He's championed learning in its very best sense, 
and stood up for truth. 

While Bill has been an advocate and a warrior in time of need, he's 
also been a champion of a somewhat different sort. Let me close with a 
Cherokee story, one told by a Cherokee Elder about two wolves. 

A Cherokee Elder was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said 
to them, "A fight is going on inside me... it is a terrible fight between 
two wolves. 

One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, 
arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride and 
superiority. 

The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, 
kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, 
compassion, and faith. 

This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, 
too." 

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his 
grandfather, "Which wolf will win?" 

The old man simply replied, "The one you feed." 

Bill has always understood which wolf we need to feed. It is the one 
that makes us stronger, better, more generous, more enlightened, and more 
committed to seeking after truth. 

Please join me in recognizing our beloved Bill Aycock. 



Remarks of President Whichard 

[Justice Willis P. Whichard, president of the North Caroliniana Society, made the following 
introductory remarks and introduced the speaker chosen by Chancellor Ay cock, Professor 
Judith W. Wegner:] 

The North Caroliniana Society was organized and began its work in 
1975. Under its major criterion of "adjudged performance" in the promotion 
of North Carolina's historical, literary, and cultural heritage, it has over its 
three-plus decades of service granted membership to dozens of North 
Carolinians who have served the state in a variety of significant ways. Thirty- 
five North Caroliniana Society Awards in that period have honored the Society 
at least as much as the Society has honored the recipients. Today the Society 
honors itself by adding another to a list of very distinguished names to its 
award recipients. 

William B. Aycock is already a legend and needs no awards to 
embellish his record. He thus indeed honors the Society by allowing it to 
recognize him. 

I am often asked if Professor Aycock was my teacher. The answer is 
a resounding "yes," despite the fact that I missed the reportedly grand 
experience of having him in a law school classroom. Chancellor Aycock 
returned to the UNC Law School from his administrative post in my third and 
last year there. The only course he taught that I could have taken was Federal 
Jurisdiction, and I did not take it. If I had, I would have had him for only two 
or three weeks, because that was the semester in which he became ill and was 
out for the duration. He was very much my teacher nevertheless. He was the 
chancellor for six of my seven years here. I was active in Student Government 
and other activities, and I learned a great deal from him. The sheer force of 
his personality, intellect, and example taught me and many others far more 
than we could ever have learned just in a classroom. When I was the News <& 
Observer ? s Tar Heel of the Week a few years ago, I was asked by the reporter 
doing the story to name some of my mentors. Without hesitation, I listed Bill 
Aycock among them, notwithstanding the fact that I never heard a word from 
him in a literal classroom. The fact is that the entire campus was his 
classroom — indeed, perhaps the entire state was — and he taught many of us 
quite well wherever he was. 

But I am trespassing upon Dean Judith Wegner's time. Chancellor 
Aycock and his family have wisely selected her to make the presentation 
address on this occasion honoring him for his life and service. Dean Wegner 
came to the UNC Law School as a faculty member in 1981 and to our good 
fortune has remained here since that time. She served as Dean of the Law 
School from 1989 to 1999. After a two-year leave while on a Carnegie 
Foundation grant, she returned to the faculty in 2001 . Since her return she has 
served a three-year term as chair of the entire university faculty. She is 



20 JUDITH WELCH WEGNER 

Chancellor Aycock's good friend and mine, and I am pleased to present her 
to you for her thoughts about North Caroliniana Society Award recipient 
William B. Aycock. 

[FolloivingDean W / egner's address, President W hi chard introduced members of the Aycock 
family and special guests, including the present and former chancellors. He then pointed to 
a large photograph, resting on an easel, and said:] 

The large cup pictured symbolizes the North Caroliniana Society 
Award and contains the names of its recipients. It was selected for the Society 
many years ago by John and Ann Sanders, and it has an interesting history 
connecting the families of two presidents of the United States, Thomas 
Jefferson and Calvin Coolidge. It is on permanent exhibit in the North 
Carolina Collection in Wilson Library. A smaller, simpler cup, representing 
the Society's motto, "Substance, not Show," is presented to the recipient. I 
now have the privilege to present this small cup to my chancellor and my 
friend, William B. Aycock, and to invite him to share some of his thoughts 
with this audience of his family and friends. 



Acceptance of the A.ward 

William B. Aycock 



When President Whichard came to my apartment at Carolina 
Meadows and informed me that I had been chosen for the 2007 award by the 
North Caroliniana Society, I was shocked and pleased. 

My first contact with the Society was in 1984. I was honored to 
participate in presenting the award to Bill and Ida Friday. It is my good 
fortune to know many of the recipients of the award. Further, I have been 
fortunate to know President Whichard and Founding Secretary H. G. Jones 
for many years. They are among the most outstanding public servants I have 
known. 

Judith Wegner, whom you have just heard, is more than a colleague 
on the faculty of the School of Law; moreover, she was my dean. In another 
forum, I remarked that I had several deans and held each of them in highest 
esteem. But I added that Judith Wegner was the only one I really loved. She 
was instrumental in securing funds for the Law School addition, and she 
arranged to have the fountain and garden in front of the building dedicated to 
Grace Mewborn Aycock, my wife of fifty- five years. 

In the fall of 1945, for me and most of the Class of 1948, it was out 
of the military and into the classroom. It was not uncommon for us to band 
together in study groups, especially at exam time. Our group varied in 
numbers from time to time, but five of us continued contact for sixty-one 
years. In 2006 we lost William Archie Dees, Jr. Our circle was broken. Dees, 
pro bono, was a member of the School Board in Goldsboro, the North 
Carolina Board of Higher Education, the Board of Trustees of the 
Consolidated University, and the first chairman of the University of North 
Carolina Board of Governors when all sixteen of the public institutions were 
brought under one umbrella. 

John Richard Jordan, Jr., who developed his own law firm in Raleigh, 
was the third chairman of the Board of Governors. As a member of the state 
Senate, he was one of the few in public life who on the record opposed to the 
Speaker Ban Law. 

James Dickson Phillips, Jr., while he was a practicing attorney, was 
invited to join the Law School faculty and later became its dean. After that, 
he was appointed judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth 
Circuit. 

William Clyde Friday and I completed the five, all bonded by the 
University and our interest in education. Friday has become a legend and a 
leader in education and a star on UNC-TV. 

While I was a student, I had many lasting memories. One of them 



22 JUDITH WELCH WEGNER 

occurred when, during our second year as students in the Law School, 
Professor Herbert Baer completely lost his voice. He wrote me a note asking 
if I would try to carry on the class. His beautiful notes became my "Edgar 
Bergen." After six weeks, he recovered and I returned to my seat in the class. 
The source of my lasting memory was the performance of the class. We all 
knew the importance of working together. In effect, we had a big seminar and 
were able to cover the material. I realized our success when Professor Baer 
informed me that my exam was second best. The best paper was written by 
Livingston Vernon. 

In 1947, Dean Wettach informed me that the Law School had been 
granted a new position, effective July 1. He further stated that the faculty had 
decided he should offer this new professorship to me. I was delighted, but I 
hastened to inform him that I would not graduate until February 1948. He 
replied, "We will hold it for you." My response, "I would be honored to 
accept." Thus, I joined all of my professors in February 1948. 

A memorable event occurred soon after I joined the law faculty. In 
1951, Dr. Frank Graham was appointed Linked Nations representative to 
Indian and Pakistan, seeking to settle their dispute over who was entitled to 
the state of Kashmir. It was a rich experience for me to work with Dr. 
Graham and the professional staff assigned to him by the United Nations. We 
made several trips to Pakistan, India, and Kashmir. Dr. Frank worked on the 
project for nineteen years, and its settlement is yet to come. When I returned 
home, I was invited to speak about this subject throughout North Carolina. 
I was pleased to make forty appearances, informing people about the nature 
of Dr. Frank's work. 

Henry Brandis followed Dean Wettach as dean of the UNC School 
of Law. When Stanford University Law School invited Brandis to join its 
faculty as visiting professor, I was asked to serve as acting dean. I accepted. 
It was a joy to work with my colleagues in that role. 

In 1957, William Friday, president of the Consolidated University, 
asked me to succeed Chancellor Robert House, who was retiring. I was 
honored to take a turn at this post. But we agreed that afterward I would 
return to my work in the Law School. The seven years I served as chancellor 
were indeed memorable, especially working with a dedicated staff. 

Other memorable experiences are too numerous to list. I will mention 
only two or three. One was the celebration on University Day of the one 
millionth volume for UNC's Wilson Library. This volume was presented by 
Frank Borden Hanes, Sr., who served on the Library's Board of Directors and 
was chosen for this North Caroliniana Society Award in 2002. James L. 
Godfrey, dean of the faculty, worked closely with Librarian Jerrold Orne, and 
magnificent progress occurred during the period 1957 and 1964. 

Dr. Henry T. Clark was the administrator of Health Affairs prior to 
and after my seven years as chancellor. After World War II, rapid expansion 
in that area began and continues today. 

The dean of the new School of Dentistry had applied through 
channels for a grant for dental research from the National Institute of Health, 
which sent a committee to look into the request. When the group arrived in 



WILLIAM B. AYCOCK, OUR CHAMPION 23 

Chapel Hill, the chairman came to my office and said he had never heard of 
research in dental schools. Dean John C. Brauer had already informed me that 
some of his faculty had joined with members of the medical faculty in research 
in the area of dental jurisdiction. At the end of the day, the committee 
chairman came to my office and informed me that the full amount of the 
request would be recommended by his committee. It was approved. 

A special occasion involving Dean Smith lingers in my mind. On the 
twenty-fifth anniversary of his tenure as head coach, his players wanted to 
have a reunion in his honor. He agreed, provided only the players, Woodv 
Durham, and Grace and Bill Aycock be invited. I will always remember the 
admiration, appreciation, and affection that these players and students 
manifested for their coach and teacher. A coach has an opportunity to teach 
more than his or her sport. Further, it is possible to teach about the game of 
life. In both, Coach Smith is a master teacher. For this, his former players 
regard him as the captain of their lifetime Hall of Fame. 

The Speaker Ban Law enacted by the North Carolina General 
Assembly in 1963 is the saddest memory. 

John Sanders, director of the UNC Institute of Government, and his 
colleague Dexter Watts conducted a study of this law; that information proved 
helpful to Attorney McNeill Smith, who represented students in the 
subsequent court action. Paul Dickson, former student body president, 
challenged the law, filing a suit before a three-judge federal court. Citing the 
law's vagueness, the court declared it void. The faculty and especially the press 
helped in an educational program about the harm of his law. That program 
was effective, in that no appeal was taken in the case. Since there had been no 
public hearings on the proposed law, we had no chance to point out its flaws. 
That made the public education program all the more urgent. In 1977, John 
Sanders was recognized with this North Caroliniana Society Award. 

After mandatory retirement benched me, I continued to go to the 
Law School. When Judith Wegner became dean, she decided to update the 
history of the Law School, and I worked with her on that project. Albert 
Coates, a faculty member and director of the Institute of Government and the 
second recipient of this Society's award, had written the history of the first 
hundred years (1845-1945). The period of 1945 to 1995 needed to be covered. 
Students, especially Martin Brinkley and the staff of the UNC Uaw Revkw, 
faculty, and dedicated staff contributed. During this time, I learned that I had 
a total of one hundred colleagues among the faculty members. Of these, I had 
maximum high regard for ninety-seven and minimum high regard for three. 

I am grateful to President Whichard, Vice-President William Powell, 
Dr. H. G. Jones, President Friday, and all members of the North Caroliniana 
Society. For this occasion, the presence of my family and friends uplifts my 
spirits. 

This is the polestar — the brightest star of all among the constellation 
of my memories of the University. It has illuminated my twilight years and 
enriched my life. For this, my family and I thank you. 



24 



JUDITH WELCH WEGNER 




In the top photo, Chancellor Aycock applauds Professor Judith Welch Wegner (right), who 
delivered the address. At bottom, he chats with Justice Willis P. Which ard, president of the 
North Caroliniana Society, who presented the aivard. 



WILLIAM B. AYCOCK, OUR CHAMPION 25 




At top, Chancellor Aycock stands with his daughter Nancy Ay cock, and in the bottom 
photo are, left to right, granddaughter iMura Guerry Aycock, daughter-in-law Alex a 
Aycock, and his son, William P. Aycock II. 



26 



JUDITH WELCH WEGNER 




At top, the honoree listens with his great-grandson Preston Ay cock. At bottom, he is 
congratulated by the current chancellor, James Moeser. In the audience were many of his 
colleagues and friends, both from the campus and Carolina Meadows, where he now lives. 



WILLIAM B. AYCOCK, OUR CHAMPION 



27 




Four of five members of a remarkable law school 'study group " were present to honor their 
classmate. At top are]. Dickson Phillips, Jr., Ay cock, William C. Friday, and John R, 
Jordan, Jr. Ida Howell Friday joined the quartet in the bottom photo. 



28 



JUDITH WELCH WEGNER 




At top, Dr. Ay cock poses with William C. Friday, a law school classmate who sewed as 
president of the Consolidated University of North Carolina while Ay cock was chancellor. 
Below, he chats with H. G. Jones, secretary of the North Caroliniana Society. 



NORTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY IMPRINTS 

H. G.Jones, General Editor, Numbers 1-43 

No. 1. An Evening at Monticello: An Essay in Reflection (1978) 

by Edwin M. Gill 

No. 2. The Paul Green I Know (1978) 

by Elizabeth Lay Green 

No. 3. The Albert Coates I Know (1 979) 

by Gladys Hall Coates 

No. 4. The Sam Ervin I Know (1980) 

by Jean Conyers Ervin 

No. 5. Sam Ragan (1981) 

by Neil Morgan 

No. 6. Thomas Wolfe of North Carolina (1982) 

edited by H. G Jones 

No. 7. Gertrude Sprague Carraway (1982) 

by Sam Ragan 

No. 8. John Fries Blair (1983) 

by Margaret Blair McCuiston 

No. 9. William Clyde Friday and Ida Howell Friday (1 984) 

by Georgia Carroll Kyser and William Brandey Aycock 

No. 10. William S. Powell, Historian (1985) 

by David Stick and William C. Friday 

No. 1 1 . "Gallantry Unsurpassed" (1 985) 

edited by Archie K. Davis 

No. 12. Mary and Jim Semans, North Carolinians (1986) 

by W. Kenneth Goodson 

No. 13. The High Water Mark (1986) 

edited by Archie K. Davis 

No. 1 4. Raleigh and Qiunn: The Explorer and His Boswell (1 987) 

edited by H. G. Jones 

No. 15. A Half Century in Coastal History (1987) 

by David Stick 

No. 16. Thomas Wolfe at Eighty-seven (1988) 

edited by H. G. Jones 

No. 17. A Third of a Century in Senate Cloakrooms (1988) 

by William McWhorter Cochrane 

No. 1 8. The Emma Neal Morrison I Know (1 989) 

by Ida Howell Friday 

No. 19. Thomas Wolfe's Composition Books (1990) 

edited by Alice R. Cotten 

No. 20. My Father, Burke Davis (1990) 

by Angela Davis-Gardner 

No. 21. A Half Century with Rare Books (1991) 

by Lawrence F. London 

No. 22. Frank H. Kenan: An Appreciation (1992) 

edited by Archie K. Davis 

[Continued next page] 



NORTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY IMPRINTS 

[Continued from previous page] 

No. 23. Growing Up in North Carolina, by Charles Kuralt, and 

The Uncommon Laureate, by Wallace H. Kuralt (1993) 

No. 24. Chancellors Extraordinary: J. Carlyle Sitterson and EeRoy T. Wa/ker (1995) 

by William C. Friday and Willis P. Whichard 

No. 25. Historical Consciousness in the Early Republic (1995) 

edited by H. G. Jones 

No. 26. Sixty Years with a Camera (1996) 

by Hugh M. Morton 

No. 27. William Gaston as a Public Man (1997) 

by John L. Sanders 

No. 28. William P. Camming and the Study of Cartography (1998) 

edited by Robert Cumming 

No. 29. My Eove Affair with Carolina (1998) 

by Doris Waugh Betts 

No. 30. A Single but Huge Distinction (1999) 

by Reynolds Price 

No. 3 1 . Richard Jenrette 's Adventures in Historic Preservation (2000) 

edited by H. G. Jones 

No. 32. Sketches in North Carolina USA 1872 to 1878 (2001) 

by Mortimer O. Heath; edited by H. G. Jones 

No. 33. Roots and Branches (2001) 

by Wilma Dykeman 

No. 34. Glimmers in the Gloaming (2002) 

by Frank Borden Hanes, Sr. 

No. 35. Coming of Age in North Carolina's Fifth Century, by Maxine Swalin, and 

The North Carolina Symphony, The People's Orchestra, by John L. Humber (2003) 

No. 36. Reflections (2004) 

by W. Trent Ragland, Jr. 

No. 37. Photographers in North Carolina: The First Century, 1842-1941 (2004) 

Essays by Stephen E. Massengill, H. G.Jones, Jesse R. Lankford 

No. 38. North Carolina Conundrum (2005) 

by John Hope Franklin 

No. 39. Poetical Geography of North Carolina (1887; 2006) 

by Needham Bryan Cobb 

No. 40. The Goodliest Land (2006) 

by Betty Ray McCain 

No. 41 . Hayes: The Plantation, Its People, and Their Papers (2007) 

by John G. Zehmer, Jr. 

No. 42. Center of the Universe (2007) 

by Fred Chappell 

No. 43. William B. Ay cock, Our Champion (2007) 

by Judith Welch Wegner 



The North Caroliniana Society 

Wilson Library, Campus Box 3930 
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514-8890 

Telephone (919) 962-1172; Fax (919) 962A452; bojonesffV. email. urn: edit; wuii'.ncsociety.org 

Chartered on 11 September 1 975 as a private nonprofit corporation under provisions 
of Chapter 55A of the General Statutes of North Carolina, the North Caroliniana Society is 
dedicated to the promotion of increased knowledge and appreciation of North Carolina's 
heritage through the encouragement of scholarly research and writing in and teaching of state 
and local history and literature; publication of documentary materials, including the numbered, 
limited-edition North Caroliniana Society Imprints and 'North Caroliniana Society Keepsakes; 
sponsorship of professional and lay conferences, seminars, lectures, and exhibitions; 
commemoration of historic events, including sponsorship of markers and plaques; and through 
assistance to the North Carolina Collection of UNC-Chapel Hill and other cultural 
organizations with kindred objectives. With an entirely volunteer staff, the Society is 
headquartered in the incomparable North Carolina Collection in UNC's Wilson Library. 

Founded by H. G.Jones and incorporated by Jones, William S. Powell, and Louis M. 
Connor, Jr., who soon were joined by a distinguished group of North Carolinians, the Society 
was limited to a hundred members for the first decade. It elects from time to time additional 
individuals meeting its strict criterion of "adjudged performance" in service to their state's 
culture — i.e., those who have demonstrated a continuing interest in and support of the 
historical, literary, and cultural heritage of North Carolina. The Society, a tax-exempt 
organization under provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, expects 
continued service from its members, and for its programs it depends upon the contribudons, 
bequests, and devises of its members and friends. Its IRS number is 56-1119848. Upon 
request, contributions to the Society may be counted toward Chancellor's Club membership. 
The Society administers a fund, given in 1987 by the Research Triangle Foundation in honor 
of its retiring board chairman and the Society's longtime president, from which nearly 300 
Archie K. Davis Fellowships have been awarded for research in North Carolina's historical and 
cultural resources. The Society sponsors the North Caroliniana Book Award, and it also 
confers the William Stevens Powell Award upon a senior student who has contributed most 
to an understanding of the history and traditions of The University of North Carolina at Chapel 
Hill. 

A highlight of the Society's year is the presentation of the North Caroliniana Society 
Award to an individual or organization for long and distinguished service in the encouragement, 
production, enhancement, promotion, and preservation of North Caroliniana. Starting with 
Paul Green, the Society has recognized Albert Coates, Sam J. Ervin, Jr., Sam Ragan, Gertrude 
S. Carraway, John Fries Blair, William and Ida Friday, William S. Powell, Maty and James 
Semans, David Stick, William M. Cochrane, Emma Neal Morrison, Burke Davis, Lawrence F. 
London, Frank H. Kenan, Charles Kuralt, Archie K. Davis, H. G.Jones, J. Carlyle Sitterson, 
LeRoy T. Walker, Hugh M. Morton, John L. Sanders, Doris Betts, Reynolds Price, Richard H. 
Jenrette, Wilma Dykeman, Frank Borden Hanes, Sr., Maxine Swalin, Elizabeth Vann Moore, 
W. Trent Ragland, Jr., W. Dallas Herring, John Hope Franklin, Betty Ray McCain, Joseph F. 
Steelman, William B. Aycock, Fred Chappell, and, on its sesquicentennial, the North Carolina 
Collection. 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

Willis P. Whichard, President 

Archie K. Davis (1911-1998) and William C. Friday, Presidents Emeriti 

William S. Powell, I 'ice-President, H. G. Jones, Secretary; Martin H. Brinklev, Treasurer 

H. David Bruton, Kevin Cherry, James W. Clark, Jr., Dana Borden Lacy, 

Nancy C. Lilly, Dannye Romine Powell, W. Trent Ragland, Jr., John L. Sanders 

Directors Emeriti: Frank Borden Hanes, Sr., Betty Hodges, 

Robert W. Scott, William D. Snider 

Ex Officio: Archives & History Director, North Carolina Collection Curator 





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NORTH CAROUNIANA SOCIETY AWARD RECIPIENTS 



1978 Paul Green 1994 

1979 Albert Codtes 1995 

1980 Sam J. Ervin, Jr. 1995 

1981 Sam Ragan 1996 

1982 Gertrude Sprague Carraway 1997 

1983 John Fries Blair 1998 

1984 William C <& Ida H.Friday 1999 

1985 William S.Powell 2000 

1986 Mary D.B.T. & James Semans 2001 

1987 David Stick 2002 

1988 William McWhorter Cochrane 2003 

1989 Emma Neal Morrison 2004 

1990 Burke Davis 2004 

1991 Lawrence F. London 2005 

1992 Frank Hawkins Kenan 2005 

1993 Charles Kuralt 2006 

1994 Archie K Davis 2006 
1994 North Carolina Collection 2007 

2007 Fred Chappell 



H. G.Jones 
J. Carlyle Sitterson 
LeRoy T. Walker 
Hugo MacRae Morton 
John L. Sanders 
Doris Waugh Betts 
Reynolds Price 
Richard H. Jenrette 
Wilma Dykeman 
Frank Borden Hanes, Sr. 
Maxine Swalin 
Elizabeth Vann Moore 
W. Trent Ragland, Jr. 
W. Dallas Herring 
John Hope Franklin 
Betty Ray McCain 
Joseph F. Steelman 
William Brantley Aycock 



THE LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

AT CHAPEL HILL 




THE COLLECTION OF 
NORTH CAROLINIANA 

PRESENTED BY 

North Caroliniana Society 



C906 
N87s 
no. 43 



^'VERSITY OF N.C. AT CHAPEL HILL 



00030713755 

FOR USE ONLY IN 
THE NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION 






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